Raise your hand if your brackets are busted 🙋🏻 Thanks a heap, Wisconsin and South Carolina. Aside from ripping paper to shreds, here’s what else I’ve been into lately:
- NOT These Boots: San Francisco’s wonky weather patterns continue, and yesterday’s monsoon retired these Chooka rain boots faster than you can say “shit.” I purchased them in 2014, but have worn them no more than 10 times, so it was a total disappointment and waste of money. Here’s hoping these highly rated Sam Edelman booties will serve me better.
- Rusted Mule: I was thrilled to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday last night with drinks at Rusted Mule and dinner at The Saratoga. While both were phenomenal, I’m prioritizing Rusted Mule for its newness and happy hour specials. It opened less than two months ago and feels tucked away, while still getting a good mix of people. Bonus: Taco Tuesday was truly tasty and the Yelp reviews are crazy entertaining!
- Surprise Meetups: After a killer workout this morning, I was sore but super excited to volunteer at the SF-Marin Food Bank with some co-workers. Little did I know, my former team at macys.com was volunteering, too! It was such a pleasure seeing familiar faces — some new ones, too! — and I loved catching up with them all. Giving back + surprise meetups = win-win.
- “It Ain’t Me” – Kygo f. Selena Gomez: I had no clue who Kygo was (still don’t) but I DID know this earworm was stuck, stuck, stuck in my head for days on end. I also barely know the difference between Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, but I do know there’s a ton of talent in this tune and you should certainly listen.
In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”
The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.
By 30, you should have…
10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
Before reading this week’s challenge, I thought I’d have it in the bag. I’ve often been someone who has many friends in various groups, but just a handful of close friends I trust beyond surface stuff.
My mom was my best friend at a time when it wasn’t cool to be so pleased with your parents. I thought I’d be able to pick the laughing and crying friends out in an instant — after all, those I’m closest to are all people who keep me in stitches and don’t mind (or don’t vocalize that they mind) me crying over everything, from Publix commercials to family tragedy.
But then I read Kelly Corrigan’s take on what these friends meant to her. She details how quickly they came to her side — literally and figuratively — after she discovered a lump in her breast. As a self-proclaimed guys’ girl, she wasn’t a woman who enjoyed dainty drinks or Pilates chatter. But it was women who saved her life, both in surgery and in solace. They made every effort to help her through the darkest of days, and she now holds a special place for the girlfriends she “cultivates and collects” friendships with.
As the saying goes, art was imitating life in full force.
A dear friend called me last week to say she found lumps in her breasts. The lumps were malignant and aggressive, meaning she’d likely need a double mastectomy, plus chemo and radiation. I crumpled in my chair, unable to form coherent or comforting sentences.
Here was a young woman, who held my hand after my dad’s diagnosis — who let me sleep on her couch the night before he died — who had been through so many of life’s challenges already, and she was about to begin the toughest fight of her life.
I hate to say “life’s not fair,” because we all have our battles and it’s all relative to what we’ve experienced. But to be dealt this hand, to have this challenge ahead, is a true test to her unbreakable spirit and strength.
She’s a friend I can always count on for a laugh — she even made jokes while sharing her diagnosis, for God’s sake. And if I remember correctly, we managed to throw in some SNL references for good measure.
We cry together, too. She lost an immediate family member in a terrible accident, was by my side when my dad died, and we had tearful goodbyes when we parted ways in two major cities.
I’m so very fortunate to call her my friend, and I hope to be able to visit soon and be by her side. Until then, I hope she finds some comfort in knowing how much love and support she has, and how grateful I am to have her friendship through these difficult days.
To my friend, and to all of these friends below, I’m gobsmacked by how much strength I find in you. When I’ve faced my own toughest times, you’ve been there without question and without judgment. I hope my unconditional love for you is felt far and wide as well.
Do you wanna know a secret? Well, I suppose it’s not so secret anymore.
It’s my high school bestie’s 30th birthday today, and her husband coordinated for another close friend and I to surprise her in Memphis today! Aaaaand, we pulled it off!
It was, perhaps, the surprise of the century. (Modesty was always my strong suit.) We’re so excited to spend a few days celebrating our fave friend. Our chattering teeth are only partially from the freezing temps, I swear.
Happy 30th, Jenny — may your year ahead be your best yet! Xoxo ❤
I’m still coming down off the San Franniversary high, thanks — in large part — to you all. The love and support you’ve shown is immeasurable, and I’m grateful for the constant journey we’re taking together.
Someone who’s been on this journey with me for 12 years now is Jenny, my high school bestie. She’s visiting this week, and it’s been so fun showing her around SF. Despite the 2,000 miles that normally separate us, we can always pick up right where we left off.
Whether it’s exploring new cities and having adventures or just watching football and playing drinking games, we always know how to find fun (and get into trouble) together. And, we’re always the ones laughing obnoxiously louder than everyone else — in the same cadence — because we’re obviously hilarious together.
So this week’s obsessions are dedicated to our friendship, because without her, I don’t know where I’d be. Bonus: It’s our third member of the tripod, Christina’s, birthday week! We’re missing her like crazy but raising a glass to her tonight 🙂
- Cider Summit SF: A new friend invited me to this event Saturday and it did not disappoint. A little disorganized at first, but for it being just the third year, I was pleasantly surprised. More than 50 cider vendors, plus a few snack food companies, shared samples of their supply. Delicious!
- St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church: I’ve tested out a few Catholic churches in SF, but hadn’t found one yet that really spoke to me. During a lovely morning hike with a friend, we stumbled upon this church and I went back Sunday night for mass. I’m hopeful this will become my new home church and will keep you all posted.
- A Backyard BBQ: Friends of mine from Florida moved out here a few years ago, and recently moved into a much bigger home that’s perfect for entertaining. Their Sunday barbecue was the perfect way to enjoy cold drinks, sunny weather and engaging people.
- Rachel Roy vs. Rachael Ray: By now, you’ve likely heard about Beyoncé’s visual album “Lemonade” and the fallout toward designer Rachel Roy. Enter “The Beyhive,” AKA Queen B’s fans, who lashed out mistakenly at Food Network celeb Rachael Ray. Luckily, the chef has spunk and responded with a new lemonade recipe. Oh, the hilarity.
I had a blast hosting one of my best friends for the past few days. We’ve known each other for 12 years, and he was truly my savior while living in NYC — so it was the least I could do to show him a little bit of my new life in SF.
At the risk of getting way too sentimental on you all, let’s just distract all the feels with these picks, instead:
- The Oscars: The dresses, the drama, the divine NPH … Sunday’s 87th Annual Academy Awards were certainly abuzz all over the social stratosphere. I personally wasn’t surprised by many of the wins, but I’m still itching to see “Boyhood” and was sad it wasn’t recognized more.
- Picaro: This tapas restaurant in The Mission features fresh and fruity sangria alongside a million (or so) small plates. The service was great, the food was fantastic and the drinks never stopped flowing. ¡Olé!
- Dolores Park: Also in The Mission, this iconic park is the place to be on a sunny day in SF. My friend Mike and I mostly judged all the hipster-hippy hybrids, but it sure was a beautiful place to do it.
- Chloe’s Side Eye: Speaking of judgment, “Chloe’s side eye” was the recurring theme for Mike’s visit. Now, I would have shared Xtina’s incredible performance on The Tonight Show, but it has 18 million views and you’ve already watched it 100 times with me. Plus, there’s nothing quite like seeing shade thrown by a 3-year-old.
Ffwd to 2 minutes in for the best of it.
I feel like all I can ever say lately is, “I’m tired.” Between crazy projects at work and crazy fun social events, I’m just run down and in need of Wittyburg time. Until I (ever?) learn how to relax, here’s what’s kept me smiling:
- lovejpep: My dear friend Justine’s birthday is tomorrow, so what better way to celebrate than catch up with her blog? It’s inspiring, thought-provoking and incredibly charming. Happy birthday, boobear!
- My High School Reunion: It’s still more than a year away, but some of my classmates are so eager, we’ve got a full-fledged #reuniongate on our hands. Their public passion about gay bars, family events and crepe paper is entertaining, if nothing else.
- East End Bar & Grill: This neighborhood spot is a new fave of mine for two very important reasons: They hosted my alumna group for a Mass Comm grad happy hour AND they have a buffalo sampler that will change your life. Priorities, people.
- “Bang Bang” – Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj: Spotify delivers once again — this time, with a trio of badass voices. It debuted yesterday and is already climbing the charts. Just try to get through it without dancing like a maniac.